Baikal Skullcap Root

Chinese skullcap (Scutellaria baicalensis) is an herb commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine. A member of the mint family, skullcap is rich in nutrients including antioxidants known as flavones that reduce the effects of oxidative stress on various tissues in the body.

In particular, Chinese skullcap contains baicalin and baicalein, two compounds that have been studied for a wide range of healing properties.

Commonly Known As
Chinese skullcap
Baikal skullcap
Huang Qin
Scutellaria baicalensis
In alternative medicine, skullcap is sometimes recommended for the following:


Health Benefits
To date, few clinical trials have explored the health effects of skullcap. However, preliminary research suggests the herb may be useful in the treatment of these health conditions:

Memory Impairment
In a 2008 study on mice, scientists discovered that oroxylin A (an antioxidant found in the roots of skullcap) may help protect against memory impairment induced by amyloid beta, a substance that forms the brain plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Prostate Cancer
Compounds found in skullcap may help slow the growth of prostate cancer tumors, suggests a 2005 study on mice. Skullcap was a constituent of the herbal formula PC-SPES, a dietary supplement that was taken off the market because some batches were found to contain prescription medications.

Although a number of laboratory and animal studies showed that PC-SPES may thwart the growth of prostate cancer cells, it’s not known if those anticancer effects were due to the action of the herbs or the prescription medications.

Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia
A 2019 study on rats found Chinese skullcap can inhibit the development of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) by suppressing abnormal androgen and relieving inflammation. More research is needed before recommending skullcap in humans.

Parkinson’s Disease
Published in 2008, a study on mice found that baicalein (another skullcap-derived antioxidant) may help protect nerve cells from damage associated with Parkinson’s disease (a chronic condition that causes tremor, stiffness of the limbs and trunk, impaired balance and coordination, and slowing of movement).